Recently it was suggested to me that I might like to keep a Nature Journal.
The nature journal would consist of recording my observations about the environment around me and what it may have to say, if anything, about my life. I was somewhat skeptical that nature had inside information about my life that I was somehow overlooking however I was curious enough to find out. So fully embracing the Sherlock Holmes aspect of my nature I set out to investigate.
The guidelines I was set to follow for my journaling involved sitting down for ten minutes and writing. Seemed easy enough – however, finding a spare ten minutes throughout my day seemed like a stretch and it was something that I found myself resenting and resisting. You see, I’m a working mum of two teenage boys so in my house there is always something to do.
There is washing to put on and hang out and sneakers, that look more like deep sea flippers, to trip over before I put them away. Add to that a Great Dane to skate along behind as we ‘go for our daily walk’ and I’m what you call, time poor. In the past I have found myself feeling stressed out, exhausted, frustrated, sick and completely overwhelmed by life….and that’s just a typical Monday! Now, I would like to think I’m an original, a one of a kind even, but as I look around me I see many people living this way and I know, I could use some help. If this journaling thing really worked, then I was going to give it a red hot try.
I found that if I woke early enough I could carve out ten minutes in my morning to sit outside, coffee in hand, and just……take notice. Notice the trees changing the colour of their leaves, notice the direction of the wind, notice the shapes in the clouds or the frenzied activity of the birds first thing in the morning. The sights, the sounds, the smells. I have been writing about it all and let me just say it has been a revelation. By noticing the environment around me I feel as if I am waking up from a fog. This living breathing planet is speaking to me loud and clear and she has much to say.
She tells me that her time is not dependent on a clock face. She will not text nor does she care to email. She will not be rushed or harassed to do something just because someone wants her to. She does not mind about the washing in the basket or about the shoes in the hall. She will not judge or criticise and she has never been time poor. She will change when she is moved to not when she is told to. She can be fierce or gentle and does not apologize for either. She is the wise woman of the tribe I call the human race and we too, would be wise, if only we would first notice and then listen.
I have been awakened to the fact that I have spent way too much time rushing through life whilst looking down at my IPhone, computer screen or the list of jobs in my hand. Upon reflection, that really wasn’t living – that was just existing in a haze of drama and demand and I choose to do things differently now. I have learnt much from my time journaling about Mother Nature and I know I want to be more like her. I now want to move patiently with the ebb and flow of life. I want to be more accepting of change and learn to embrace the chaos. I want to grow older and wiser and be the sunshine on someone’s rainy day.
I can honestly say Journaling about nature has really changed my life in a real and positive way and who knows, it just might work for you too? So, next time you head outside spend some time noticing the environment around you and who knows, maybe nature will teach you a little bit about your own.